Volume 1-2016

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The RCJ provides RSS feeds from well-respected news organizations, giving our readers a convenient portal through which to stay abreast of world events and issues. Use the links provided. The following are on the RCJ Front Page Report homepage (scroll both columns to the right).

The New York Times

The Huffington Post

The Economist


These are provided on other pages within this site:


Politics Daily

Wall Street Journal

Ezra Klein's WonkBlog - Washington Post

Nuclear Threat Initiative




Rolling Stone


Other sites worth visiting:

Political Punch (ABC News Blog)


9-11 Liberals and Salman Rushdie

Police Force "Bombing" in Iraq

Anatomy of a Screwing

Fix America Now

Iceberg Economy: How the Supply Siders are Sinking the Ship of State

Bloomberg Illustrates Dodd-Frank Regulations for Investors

DAVOS WEF Points Out Single Points of Failure in the New Global Economy

Soulless Possession of Santo Niño

What Keeps NBC's Chuck Todd Up at Night?

"King of Bain" - Documentary on Mitt Romney's Private Equity Firm Bain Capital

Robert Smigel's Lost Ode to the Evil of General Electric

Riddle This: Do Our Governmental Systems Hinder Mitigation of Harmful Influences to Our System of Government?

The Achievement Metric - Time for a New Way of Determining Public Policy and Positioning Revenue Spending

Hide Your Brains! Matthews from the Left! Gingrich from the Right! Blowhard Attack! Or, more to the point...book reviews of "JFK Elusive Hero" and "Valley Forge"

Art Sampler - An RCJ Review of Art in the Modern Period

Benicia, California Case Study in Traffic Engineering and Growth Management

Everyday Heroism - The Penn State Debacle

How to Keep Things Lousy in the USA

How Being a Socialist Became a Negative

Are You A Slave? A Brief History of the Subject Suggests "Probably"

Moses, Wall Street, Human Nature and Grover Norquist

Concepts of Resistance - The RCJ Provides a Road Map for the OWS Movement

Lance Henriksen - World's Greatest Actor in Reflective Mode

Conspiracy - A Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the New World Order

Elections 2012

What Does it Take to be President?

Rating the U.S. News Readers

The Antidote to Michelle Bachman

Ship of Fools - Why Won't We Save Ourselves?

White House Solar Bomb

What Is Happening to Us?

The Cloud - What It Is

Background on Afghanistan

Economics 101

Global Economic Risks

Islamic Definition

Middle East

Second Amendment Remedies

Sam Broussard - Republicans


Why All the Zombies?

Gun Rights

Leadership Chronicles


Rick Alan Rice (RAR) Literature Page


CCJ Publisher Rick Alan Rice dissects the building of America in a trilogy of novels collectively calledATWOOD. Book One explores the development of the American West through the lens of public policy, land planning, municipal development, and governance as it played out in one of the new counties of Kansas in the latter half of the 19th Century. The novel focuses on the religious and cultural traditions that imbued the American Midwest with a special character that continues to have a profound effect on American politics to this day. Book One creates an understanding about America's cultural foundations that is further explored in books two and three that further trace the historical-cultural-spiritual development of one isolated county on the Great Plains that stands as an icon in the development of a certain brand of American character. That's the serious stuff viewed from high altitude. The story itself gets down and dirty with the supernatural, which in ATWOOD - A Toiler's Weird Odyssey of Deliveranceis the outfall of misfires in human interactions, from the monumental to the sublime. The book features the epic poem "The Toiler" as well as artwork by New Mexico artist Richard Padilla.

Elmore Leonard Meets Larry McMurtry

Western Crime Novel











I am offering another novel through Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing service. Cooksin is the story of a criminal syndicate that sets its sights on a ranching/farming community in Weld County, Colorado, 1950. The perpetrators of the criminal enterprise steal farm equipment, slaughter cattle, and rob the personal property of individuals whose assets have been inventoried in advance and distributed through a vast system of illegal commerce.

It is a ripping good yarn, filled with suspense and intrigue. This was designed intentionally to pay homage to the type of creative works being produced in 1950, when the story is set. Richard Padilla has done his usually brilliant work in capturing the look and feel of a certain type of crime fiction being produced in that era. The whole thing has the feel of those black & white films you see on Turner Movie Classics, and the writing will remind you a little of Elmore Leonard, whose earliest works were westerns. Use this link.



If you have not explored the books available from Amazon.com's Kindle Publishing division you would do yourself a favor to do so. You will find classic literature there, as well as tons of privately published books of every kind. A lot of it is awful, like a lot of traditionally published books are awful, but some are truly classics. You can get the entire collection of Shakespeare's works for two bucks.

You do not need to buy a Kindle to take advantage of this low-cost library. Use this link to go to an Amazon.com page from which you can download for free a Kindle App for your computer, tablet, or phone.

Amazon is the largest, but far from the only digital publisher. You can find similar treasure troves at NOOK Press (the Barnes & Noble site), Lulu, and others.





I was thinking about writing a piece on how our electronic devices have enslaved us, and to trigger my thoughts I did a Google search on articles related to the subject. In the search box I typed “are we enslaved” and automatically the Google search macro offered “to technology” as one of three automatic options. And I immediately felt like the victim of miserable irony. There are so many ways that humans can be enslaved, and yet Google’s response seemed to me to indicate that some considerable slice of the querying population must put technology at the top of the threat list. Strangely, they get that thinking from their computer, or whatever device they use to get information from Google searches or Wikipedia. And most alarming, those people I describe are me, which is pretty humbling for a guy who fancies himself a one-off thinker. It turns out that I am a sheep, after all, or a clone.

Nikola Tesla is said to have believed that human beings are some form of organic robot. Hard to imagine why he didn’t have any friends.

And yet, at the same time, what does the way we interact with each other, and with our electronic devices, say about us? And what technology has ever been developed that has so much potential for controlling the way we think?


I work for companies in the technology sector, which has given itself over entirely to Cloud technology. They are putting the entire world in “the Cloud”, and I’m not even sure that is a metaphor. Cloud technology is all about storing data on remote servers, the integrities of which are ensured by virtue of their network connections to redundant backup servers. Cloud administrators manage their Cloud operations through Application Programming Interface (API) code using whatever computing device they use to access the World Wide Web. It couldn’t be more convenient, for users with access privileges and otherwise.
There has been a less-than-subtle inclination on the part of technology companies to force their customers into this new world, where often the software that you once bought, stored on your hard drive, and owned, has now become something that you rent access to through a website. It is still general practice for people to save their files to their own machine, but there are many encouragements to use Cloud storage, because something will eventually go wrong with your hard drive and if your stuff is backed up in the Cloud you can recover what you will lose. It’s a data health insurance policy, like all backup options, and like any form of health insurance you’d be ill-advised to do without it.

The technology sector is forced through constant change to keep up with the intrusions of those who can find ways to circumvent the access privileges granted to their data systems, operating systems, applications, and websites. Each revised version addresses known security issues, while also offering new opportunities to create improved user experiences (e.g., improved GUI, added functionality), and new versions eventually force the obsolescence of user equipment. They force new computing environments upon their users, present them with new cost paradigms, and they also redefine the relationship between the user and the technology.


There has been a revolution in application software, and a parallel revolution in data analytics and storage.

The most obvious examples of how this has worked would have to be Google and Facebook, a couple city-sized companies that have their headquarters in the South San Francisco Bay enclaves of Menlo Park and Mountain View, California. Those two companies are the standard setters in app development in the new age. The web developer tools they offer free of charge are driving the Cloud and cementing its acceptance with device users.

Google provides the most popular search engine used for accessing the World Wide Web, and their talented developers have made a science of “big data” analytics. That is why Google is so cannily capable of knowing what you are searching for before you can type your query completely. They have found patterns in your behavior, and many others just like you, and it turns out that even our most out-of-the-box thinkers are typically thinking within some other well-defined box.

Facebook works the other side. It invites its users to volunteer information about themselves, which then becomes part of the virtualized pool of data that is so expertly parsed by the folks at Google, and also Microsoft, and every other company that offers a search tool.

Facebook, LinkedIn and a few other popular social network sites have become special access points to all manner of other web portals. One can sign-in through Facebook, which automatically collects additional information for user profiles, all of which becomes data in the Cloud to be analyzed for a variety of purposes.

Certainly commerce is the primary reason for the serious attention given to human behaviors that are made apparent via our interaction with our devices. Data aggregators collect information about us, and data providers feed information back to users based on reported patterns; the trail of crumbs we leave that tell investigators where we are at in our minds, and these days even physically.

There, I think, is Alice’s rabbit hole.


As device users, we are constantly fed a stream of data that is, to some statistical degree, valid to our user lives. But human experience and motivations are a many-faceted and complex thing. We have inbuilt mechanisms of our own that gather, parse, and compare data, and we are strongly motivated to value most that data that helps us to survive within our herd or tribe.
If you think about it, even as the networked world grows wider and more comprehensive of the world’s citizens, the portals through which we draw our information are surprisingly few. There are millions of media networks and websites that provide information, but as a whole we visit a relatively small number: Facebook, YouTube, Google, Baidu, Yahoo, Amazon, Wikipedia, Instagram, Reddit… One could say the same of the hundreds of media outlets available through cable and satellite services. We have a thousand choices, but individually we watch only a handful of those outlets. This is true even if you are one of that rare species that still reads books. We can’t consume data fast enough to take from any sources other than those that efficiently support our personality, or data type. We voluntarily reduce ourselves to generalized avatars: revealing characterizations of who we are.

That mirror also makes it easy to compare ourselves to others, and it facilitates the regurgitation of excepted responses. It provides messages that are decoded by your brain, which based on your lifetime of observing behavior patterns in your social group, make it highly likely that you are going to playback those messages verbatim if fitting in with your social group depends upon doing so.

In fairly recent times there was a study that showed that in a state of civil war, individuals will tend to behave in whatever way is the dominant behavior within their home group, even if that behavior is not a reflection of their personal point of view. People tend to take the long view if it behooves them to do so; otherwise put, they bet that civil war will eventually end and they will act with the attitude that once it is over they are going to want to live peacefully with their neighbors. They comply to survive.

One could forgive social critics, and speculative philosophers like David Icke, for suggesting that this characteristic in humans equates to the mindless behavior of sheep, or neutralized thinkers.

There again, the big data world provides the select sets of data that we need to perpetuate our kind, or data type, even when our options are limited by our own cyphers to include only those that safely fit within the perceived norm.

This norm exists nowhere so strong as it does within professional groups, like scientists and academics, whose viability depends upon studying only low-risk subjects, building on accepted thought versus considering things outside of the established canon of their professional groups. Those higher-risk ventures may eventually prove to be dead-end pursuits, and prove to have been a waste of time, which can be fatal to a career in a field of discipline. Smart people are as vulnerable to programming as anyone else, and may possibly be even more cautious. After all, where do you go if you lose your job as a college lecturer? Or if as a highly-paid scientist, you have a reputation for wasting precious grant money on fruitless investigations? For the most part, the only people who risk spending time on outside-the-box thinking are people who have nothing to lose. Anyone with any skin in the game plays to stay in the game.


All of these aspects of gathering and analyzing data from a hugely diverse set of users of our current technologies feels almost perilously democratic. Our technology tends to treat all data as if it is equal, just tagged in different ways. Valid or not, in the Cloud it lives on forever. Your Google search is going to return relevant data based on your search words and your user profile, but it is going to return a far higher body of data that is peripheral to your interests, including a lot that may be peripheral to truth itself, however that is measured.

The Cloud Is becoming something like our living Akashic Record, a concept that was referenced in ancient Sanskrit and adopted in the theosophist philosophy. Theosophists take heart in their belief that all of our answers are to be found in the records of the ancient civilizations – proof that humans have probably always thought to themselves, “I am surrounded by idiots”, and the wan hope of this being a recent, hopefully transitory development.

Writing in the mid-19th Century, a lady theosophist named H. P. Blavatsky brought the Sanskrit term akasha into the language of theosophy. (An anti-Semite, Blavatsky’s occultism provided a basis for aspects of the Ariosophy embraced by the Nazi regime.) Existing in non-physical form in the astral plane, akasha was described by Blavatsky as "indestructible tablets of the astral light" recording both the past and future of human thought and action…

This notion that somehow the answers have been known and recorded, but for some reason become lost to us in the present, is at the heart of every religion. And it is also at the heart of every human experience, because our lives are consumed by the need to parse the data we receive to determine its value in view of our desires. We have no desire greater than understanding who we are in the universe, because we want to know if we are meeting the reasons for why we are here.

In our technological age, the ways that we explore the world are captured and stored in the Cloud, as if we are building our own Akashic Record in our own time. It may well be considered an occult development – have you noticed the way people cannot avoid constantly gazing at their smart phones? – requiring the understanding of a trained mystic to decipher its meaning. In her 1927 book Light of the Soul on The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – Book 3 – Union achieved and its Results, Alice A. Bailey put it this way:

The akashic record is like an immense photographic film, registering all the desires and earth experiences of our planet. Those who perceive it will see pictured thereon: The life experiences of every human being since time began, the reactions to experience of the entire animal kingdom, the aggregation of the thought-forms of a karmic nature (based on desire) of every human unit throughout time. Herein lies the great deception of the records. Only a trained occultist can distinguish between actual experience and those astral pictures created by imagination and keen desire.

I can’t lie. I copied that quote right out of Wikipedia, because it supported what I wanted to think and say about the Cloud – our mystifying neo-Akashic Record, yet to be fully understood in all that it says about who we are at this point in our human/spiritual evolution.












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